Dáil debates

Tuesday, 5 December 2006


Care of the Elderly.

3:00 pm

Photo of Seán PowerSeán Power (Kildare South, Fianna Fail)

Since 1997 the Government has shown a great commitment to improving services for older people. Last year's budget saw additional significant investment in the services. There are 39 beds in the geriatric acute facility and four day beds, specifically for older people. The hospital has three geriatricians, 47 physiotherapists, 12 occupational therapists and 19 social workers. These geriatricians have links and work with St. Mary's Hospital, Phoenix Park, which provides for continuity of care for older people before and after the provision of acute care. I mentioned the Mater Misercordiae and St. James's Hospitals, both of which participate in the complex discharge of older persons project which runs in line with the investment in home care packages we made in last year's budget when we increased the number from 1,100 in 2005 to 3,000 this year. That investment has worked well and it will be continued.

I agree with what the Deputy said about Professor O'Neill who did the State some service with his report. We are happy to work with its recommendations. I indicated a number of improvements that have been made and proposals under consideration in the HSE. These will be of significant benefit in the treatment of older people.


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